MLB Rumors

Mariners pitcher J.A. Happ working on his changeup
by Brandon Wise |

Mariners pitcher J.A. Happ is working on his changeup and hoping to use it more this season, pitching coach Rick Waits said Saturday.

Happ went 11-11 with a 4.22 ERA in 158 innings pitched in 2014 with 133 strikeouts.

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Rays hopeful Alex Colome will join team next week
by Brandon Wise |

Rays president of baseball operations Matthew Silverman said Saturday Alex Colome is currently throwing at a Dominican Republic complex and is hopeful he will join the team next week after his visa gets approved, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Colome posted a 2.66 ERA over 23 2/3 innings in 2014.

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Reds' Price: No competition between Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez
by Brandon Wise |

Reds manager Bryan Price said Saturday there is no competition at shortstop between Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez, reports the Cincinnati Inquirer.

Cozart was the starting shortstop for the team most of last season, hitting .221 with four home runs and 38 RBI in 506 plate appearances. While Suarez hit .242 with four home runs and 23 RBI in 244 plate appearances. 

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Tigers' Victor Martinez expected to report to spring training Monday
by Brandon Wise |

Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez was in town for photo day Saturday and is expected to report to spring training Monday, manager Brad Ausmus told reporters.

Martinez is still rehabbing from a knee injury and has yet to be cleared to participate in baseball activities. The 36-year-old hit .335/.409/.565 over 561 at-bats last year. 

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Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava hitting only left-handed this spring
by Brandon Wise |

Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava is planning to only hit from the left side during this spring after hitting from both sides of the plate for most of his career, reports the Providence Journal.

"I'm definitely trying it out," Nava said. "I'm just really trying to see what becomes of it. I still have the right-hand swing; it's not in the garbage. Just knowing how the left-right splits are, I thought it would be a good shot to see with my approach if it could work."

Nava has hit .293 with a .385 slugging percentage from the left side in his career while hitting just .209 from the right.

"I just need more time to really get an idea. I might as well at least commit to it as long as I can, and we'll see what happens," Nava said. "I'm very realistic right now that it's going to be a challenge, but hopefully later down the road it might get a little easier."

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Tigers catcher Alex Avila expected to be back Sunday
by Brandon Wise |

Tigers catcher Alex Avila is still dealing with a back injury and will not participate in practice Saturday, reports It is the second consecutive day Avila will miss with the back injury.

Manager Brad Ausmus said he'd be shocked if Avila is not practicing Sunday. 

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Yankees' CC Sabathia expected to wear knee brace this season
by Brandon Wise |

Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is planning to pitch this year with a brace on his right knee to stabilize when he is on the mound this year.

Sabathia had multiple platelet-rich plasma injections in his knee during the offseason and is hopeful to avoid more injections by wearing the brace, reports the New York Daily News.

"You're really not going to know until we get into the season and he's going every fifth day, how his leg is going to do," manager Joe Girardi said. "I've said all along, it’s a concern of mine. The fact that he’s wearing a brace or not wearing a brace doesn't concern me anymore."

Sabathia said the wearing the brace was "nothing out of the ordinary."

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Goryks Hernandez expected to arrive at camp Saturday after visa delay
by Brandon Wise |

Pirates outfielder Gorkys Hernandez is expected to arrive at spring training Saturday after being delayed by visa issues, reports Hernandez, 27, last played in the majors in 2012 and hit .192 with three home runs and 13 RBI. 

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Rays pitcher Belisario out at least two weeks with fractured shoulder
by Brandon Wise |

Rays pitcher Ronald Belisario is expected to miss at least two weeks with a fractured left shoulder, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Belisario was involved in an accident before he reported to camp and has been seen with his arm in a sling.

Rays president of baseball operations Matthew Silverman said Belisario was injured getting out of a swimming pool a few weeks ago and won't be ready for the start of the season.

Belisario posted a 4-8 record with eight saves in 2014 with a 5.56 ERA in 66 1/3 innings pitched.

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Yankees' Garrett Jones ready for position battle with Alex Rodriguez
by Brandon Wise |

New Yankees infielder Garrett Jones knows third base currently belongs to Alex Rodriguez. However, the 33-year-old is envisioning a scenario where he and A-Rod are both able to play equally throughout the season.

"That's what it comes down to," Jones said to "When he's getting his opportunity, he'll do his thing. And when I'm getting my opportunity, I'm going to do what I do. In a perfect world, we're both swinging the beat well and we're both in their on a regular basis."

Jones struggled to hit the ball well in 2014, hitting .246 with 15 homeruns and 53 RBI.

"It can mess with you," Jones said. "As a hitter, do I need to do extra? Do I need to change my swing? Do I not have as much power as I used to? A lot of things are going through your head. You try to not let it bother you but for a guy that's supposed to be driving the ball and having home runs, it's part of my game. ... I was trying to pull everything and it turned getting around too much on the ball and I just lost. I was getting pounded (with) sinkers away and I lost that approach to drive the ball to left-center."

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